Testaments of St. John of the Cross


Last will of Our Father St. John of the Cross


In Therese’s time, the feast of St. John of the Cross was celebrated on November 24. Starting with her first celebration in Carmel of the saint’s feast day (1888), she began to copy phrases drawn from St. John’s selected sayings (“testaments”). Thus, in 1892, she wrote: “My daughter, I give you my whole self, emptied of all. The soul that would possess God must first renounce all in order to give herself entirely to this great God!...”


1.   Truly, those consenting to suffer for God are those who give themselves to God for His love.        

2.   As the soul falls in love with the divine, it empties itself of the need for natural consolations. The divine element will expand naturally within him, since God would never create a void without then replenishing it.

3. The poor in spirit find contentment and joy even when lacking everything; and those who desire nothing always have most.

5.   Do not search for the company of others if you wish to preserve the features of the divine Face clearly and purely in your soul.

6.   Love is repaid by love alone. The soul that loves God should not wish, nor expect, any reward other than love.

7.   The Beloved for whom you pine is hidden in your heart; strive to stay well hidden for Him; for this moment, flee from temporal concerns, and in your breast you will feel his presence and you will embrace him in transports of love.

8.   May the primary concern of your heart be to increase an ardent and loving desire to imitate Jesus in all your actions; may you take care to do all things as the Lord Himself would.

9.   Those who truly love God consider that losing everything, even their own selves, is a gain and a reward.

10. What God wants is to make us as He is, to participate in His very nature like fire turns all to fire.

11. Never refuse a task, even when it seems to be beyond your capabilities; may others find in you a charitable and sympathetic heart.

12. When the love you have for another is a spiritual affection grounded in God, the love of God will grow in you by equal measure. Similarly, when such a heart recalls another, it will also naturally recall God. One love will grow as much as the other.

13. The smallest act carried out with pure love is beyond price in God’s eyes; a small act of love is more valuable to the Church and to the soul itself than all other works combined.

14. Do not allow life’s unexpected trials to sadden you; you may not comprehend the good they will bring nor understand how God in His wisdom has arranged them for the eternal joy of the elect.

16. A sensitive nature is a lesser favor obtained from the Holy Eucharist; the principal fruit of Communion is invisible grace.

17. Just as actual fire burns away the sins of those in purgatory, so does the fire of divine love stamp out the sins of those still on earth.

18.   It is of supreme importance to love abundantly so that the soul will consume itself and, rather than linger here, it will fly quickly to God.

19. Fully perceiving and studying spiritual things will not help us grow in divine love so much as performing, without internal consolations, small acts done with faith and hope in God.

20. Maintain peace in your heart so that worldly affairs will not trouble you; remember that all things here below will end.

21. Blessed is the soul that loves!   The Lord, becoming its captive, is disposed to grant all its aspirations. A generous love is the secret to obtain from God all the soul seeks.

22. By constantly loving, the soul arrives at perfection and consummation, and then it cannot for long stay in this life or the next without seeing the Face of God.

23. Firm hope is essential in order to reach and win the Heart of God, and to unite in love with Him. The soul should rely solely, without ceasing, upon such hope; the soul can obtain nothing without it.

24. At the end of this life, we will be judged by love. Learn, therefore, to love God as He wishes to be loved and to forget your own self.

25. Upon reaching perfection, the soul is always celebrating; always joyful; she sings a new canticle each day, and she composes this canticle with joy, love, and intelligence.

26. God acknowledges the soul’s display of unceasing hope in Him. When the soul never turns its gaze away from God, truly, she will obtain all she seeks.

27. A soul united to God is as terrible to the demon as God Himself.

28. It is persistent hope that reaches God and which triumphs.

29. God allows all to see the beauty of souls that have arrived at perfection. He rewards their fidelity with talents and virtues. Nothing about them can corrupt, so all others should display towards them renewed love, renewed praise, without any trace of vanity or pride.




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